General Express December 2015

New Nuclear Medicine service includes a Canadian first

Recently, a Nuclear Medicine scanner was added to the Hospital's arsenal of high tech diagnostic imaging tools. Weighing over 7,000 pounds, the machine is the first of its kind in Canada since it also incorporates a CT scanner to produce unmatchable images.

“This will transform diagnostic imaging at the hospital,” said Dr. Samir Patel, Chief of the Department of Radiology at GGH. “Unlike other scans such as x-rays which capture a moment in time, these Nuclear Medicine scans help a physician see how well a particular area of your body or organ system is functioning. It can provide information about how an injury, disease or infection might be affecting your body. It can also be used to monitor over time how well some treatments, like chemotherapy, are working.”

The machine is the first of its kind in Canada and creates state-of-the-art images while minimizing radiation dose, explains Dr. Mathew Kuruvilla, the Hospital’s new Director of Nuclear Medicine. “It has both Nuclear and CT capabilities which allows us to fuse the functional imaging that traditional Nuclear Medicine provides, along with the anatomic blueprint offered by CT.”

The scanner will be fully up and running the beginning of the new year. Both family physicians and specialists will be able to request scans which will automatically become a part of the patient’s electronic health record.

The new machine was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Tom and Margaret Trainor who pledged $1 million to make it happen. 

“This is our hospital and this is where we have come and will continue to come for care when we need it most,” says Tom Trainor. “We know that government funding is not enough to keep our hospital up to date with the state-of-the-art technologies we need. We cannot think of a better place to invest in. We know this donation will be helping everyone in our community for years to come.”

The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s President and CEO, Suzanne Bone noted, “Tom and Margaret’s commitment to our Hospital is truly remarkable. Their gift will help save lives and improve health and we are so very grateful to them.”

In honour of the Trainor's tremendous gift, the new service will be named the Tom and Margaret Trainor Nuclear Medicine Suite. Bone added “In naming the suite, we are honouring Tom and Margaret and ensuring a lasting legacy that celebrates their commitment to the health and well-being of our community.”

Piece of the nuclear medicine scanner wait outside to be moved in The equipment barely fits through the door frame
It wasn't that long ago that the new area was a heavy construction site.  The scanner was delivered in three large pieces. The large ring in the back is the CT scan component. It alone weighed over 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg). It was a close call getting the equipment through the door frame. After setting the carrying cradle to its lowest level, the piece cleared the frame by just a centimetre.
The Trainors look out through the scanner
It took four hours since being delivered to prepare and move the pieces of the scanner. Finally, it arrives in its new home, the Tom and Margaret Trainor Nuclear Medicine Suite.  At the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Trainors received lab coats with "Doctor of Philanthropy" on the front and signed by Diagnostic Imaging staff on the back. Foundation President and CEO, Suzanne Bone (left), hosted the event. Dr. Samir Patel and President and CEO, Marianne Walker, also had a turn sharing their thoughts about the momentous event. Tom and Margaret Trainor look through the CT portion of the scanner.

"We cannot think of a better place to invest in. We know this donation will be helping everyone in our community for years to come.”


New Community-Funded IV pumps will enhance care  

Nurses switch IV fluids from old pump to new pump
Oscar Reimer, RN, and Kim Towes, RN, both with Professional Practice, transfer the medications being delivered to an ICU patient onto the new IV pump. The old pump is on the left.

Patients requiring intravenous medications or fluids given through an intravenous (IV) pump will now benefit from the recent introduction of new, highly sophisticated IV pumps across the entire Hospital. This $1.6 million initiative was made possible by community donations. 

The time to replace the older pumps had come. “The new pumps make it so very easy for the nurse to program the pump and deliver the medication or fluid appropriately,” says Eileen Bain, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “They reduce the chance of medication error and are designed gives us more flexibility, helping make sure there is a pump available for every patient who needs one.”

Bain’s thoughts are echoed by Cathy Maggs, a nurse with 29 years’ experience at GGH. “I’m pleased with the new IV pumps as the drug libraries are so helpful and a great safety check to ensure I program the right rate, dose and concentration of the drug,” she says. “It is reassuring for the staff especially when dealing with drugs one doesn’t often come across.”

The new pumps are all programmable and have eight customized programs installed. Each is designed for a specific clinical area of the Hospital. For example, a pump being used in paediatrics will use a program that ensures smaller doses appropriate for children are being used. If the same pump is later used in the Bob Ireland Family Intensive Care Unit, its programming is switched to best meet the needs of those patients. 

The software also includes information about dosage amounts for over 300 different medications. Should any information need to be changed, the new pumps can be updated wirelessly across the Hospital with the push of a button. That’s a significant advantage over the old pumps which needed to be reprogrammed one at a time.

“It is thanks to the support of our community this was able to happen,” says Suzanne Bone, CEO of the Foundation of Guelph General Hospital. “More than 1,400 gifts were given including a very generous bequest, proceeds of Black Tie Bingo, Tour de Guelph and mailings.  The new IV pumps will support thousands of patients each year, at every age and stage of life at their greatest time of need.”

Helping family and visitors stay informed about a patient's journey through the surgerical process

New display in waiting area shows patient progress through surgery processIn June, the Operating Room, Day Surgery, Preop and PACU went live with a new electronic documentation system called Optum. One of the major benefits of this new system is the Patient Tracker. On assigned computer terminals and TV monitors, staff throughout the departments are able to view a patient’s progress through the perioperative program.  This has already led to decreased phone calls and increased satisfaction among staff.

In November, a patient tracking board was installed in the Day Surgery Unit family waiting area (left). This Patient Tracking Board has minimal information on it and involves a confidential code. However, it allows family members at a glance to see where their loved one is in the surgical process (for example, if the patient is highlighted in Green – surgery is still in progress, if the patient is highlighted in Yellow – the Patient is in Recovery Room). 

It’s hoped that this tracking system will keep families informed and alleviate some of their anxiety.

Privacy Matters - Documentation errors can lead to privacy breaches

Picking the correct patient in the computer is like checking a patient’s ID wristband. We need to enter the patient account number when we are looking for a specific patient visit in the computer; for example IN006243/15. We should not be using the G number.

It is critical we choose the correct patient and the correct patient visit/account. If an incorrect patient account is chosen, documentation in the patient record creates patient care risks and can result in a privacy breach. In addition, it can be very time-consuming for the support services to correct the documentation “behind the scenes.” Let’s eliminate documentation in the incorrect patient record and reduce patient risk. 

Hospital Snap Shots (click on photo to enlarge)
 Pharmacy and christmas gift collection      
For years, staff in the Pharmacy have been adopting a family at Christmas time. The highlight of this year's donations was a real violin which was a requested present from one of the daughters. Food Services really took it upon themselves to take up the adoption challenge. Its family was a single mother with seven children! The holiday season wouldn't be the same without the annual Breakfast with Santa. Devon Metcalfe (left) and Helen Martini attended in their finest festive ware.  The Clauses did their usual fantastic job. This year's celebration was a bit bittersweet for Eileen Bain who will be retiring in March. Best of luck Eileen!
       Janet holding Code Card
During the Patient Safety Fair, Devon Metcalfe demonostrated the infection control risks of improper donning and doffing of gloves. The special flashlight showed Jackie Beaton where the gloves had already been contaminated.  Cheryl MacInnes (right) has been brought on board to be Project Lead to help steer and promote heightened security at the hospital. At the Patient Safety Fair, numerous security initiatives were highlighted. One way of improving security is making sure staff properly wear their ID badges at all times. This was demonstrated at the gathering in FBU above.  Another security initiative is the expansion of the number of Emergency Codes to include Code Silver, Code OB and Code Lockdown. Janet Trowbridge, Director Inpatient Surgery, helped distribute the new Code cards to staff. Anyone still needing a new card should either speak with his or her Director or contact Human Resources.
   Cookies shaped like cleavage    
It has been 25 years since Lifeline partnered with the Hospital. The silver anniversary was celebrated at the Patient Safety Fair. Staff in mammography helped promote Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Their creative cookie and cupcake designs were sure to draw attention. Doing their part to help out at the staff BBQ and promote the new Mission Vision and Values at the same time were Eileen Bain, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive (left) and Marianne Walker, President and CEO. When the time came to bring a lot of concrete into Diagnostic Imaging to help build the new Nuclear Medicine suite, a large pumping truck was used. It's a definite improvement over the days when the concrete might have been brought in wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow.